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Marlborough May Become First Mass. Town to Require Voter ID

MetroWest Daily News

If the city's proposal to require all voters to show identification at polls is approved, it will be the state's first municipality with such a rule.

Despite statewide accusations of voter fraud in the recent Senate election, many argue that the new measure could hinder disenfranchised voters from casting their ballots and would add an unnecessary encumbrance to what is meant to be an easy and accessible right.

"I think it's a solution in search of a problem," said Brenda Wright, the director of the Democracy program at Demos, a non-partisan public policy research and advocacy organization.

Wright said a voter identification law could make voting more difficult for groups that are less likely to have an ID, such as seniors, students, low-income individuals and minorities.

"I think it's a disservice to the goal of making elections convenient and accessible," she said, noting that federal law requires voters who register to vote by mail to include a form of identification.

"There is already that protection in the law," she said. "I don't think new identification provisions are necessary to protect the integrity of elections in Massachusetts.

"You are more likely to be struck by lightning on your way to the polls than you are to commit voter fraud," she said.